|Shaanxi Province Ansi Elementary School
Community Council Meeting
In December of 1999, the Phelex Foundation signed the contract with
UPM-Kymmene Corporation to establish 720 mu forest base for Ansi Elementary
School. The school's location is rocky and water is scarce. Farmers
survive by planting corn in the few farmable areas. But then people
realized they faced a striking question: Where would they find the
720 mu needed for the school?
The first county meeting was held to discuss the school land issue.
People from surrounding nine villages actively engaged in deciding
the location of the 720 mu land for school use.
"When building the school, every village gave their share of
money. Since the school was built in Ansi, Ansi should provide the
land," said a villager.
"But when building the school, we provided money and land,
plus we helped with the construction, so this time I fear we can't
provide land again," replied the Ansi village representative.
"No, since the school is on Ansi property, the land should
be too," responded the other village representatives.
During the heated debate, Phelex volunteer and district Party secretary
Shuren Liang stood up and asked everyone, "My fellow citizens,
is planting trees a good thing or a bad thing?" The crowd grew
Then Yushutai villager Dehong Liu said, "Of course it's a good
"Then why are you all trying to avoid such a good thing?"
Instantly, the discussion resumed and this time, it seemed every
villager was offering to help. In the end, Ansi secretary Pihong
Hu addressed the crowd, "Our village is large, the land is
farmable, and we have a big workforce. Besides, the school is in
our village, and we can teach the students about the environment
and they can help maintain the forest. The land will come from Ansi."
Thus all was decided. Ansi and Baizhaung would supply 20 mu of valleys
and 700 mu of mountainous land. Jiazhuang, Yushutai, Nuxingtai,
Baishupan, and other villages would help prepare the land and plant
the tree saplings.
In the beginning of 2000, with the help of 9 villages, the 720 mu
of land became the beginning of a lush, green forest. Finally, the
children had their own forest that would last for generations to come.
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